Do judges read judgments by other judges?

Maybe not. Egregious conduct in the courts keeps coming out via the media, instead of through a healthy process of checks and balances in the justice system itself.

In the case of the woman we’re calling Angela Cardinal, a sexual-assault victim who was jailed and shackled for five days during a preliminary hearing for her attacker, a devastating Court of Queen’s bench judgment was published last Dec. 16.

It clearly reflected the disgust of Justice Eric Macklin at the treatment of this indigenous woman, who was a willing witness to the crimes committed against her.

What happened after that judgment was published?

Nothing. Not until nearly six months later, when CBC court and crime reporter Janice Johnston “stumbled onto it,” as she says.

Suddenly, officialdom jumped into action. The chief judge of the provincial court is investigating. The government has named an independent investigator.

They’re now investigating the heck out of this case, even though they’ve had all the information they needed for six months.

This is just the latest episode in an alarming pattern.


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